Center bids farewell to Dr. Steven Miller
In July, 2004, Dr. Steven Miller ended his six-year tenure as center director to expand his coral reef research in Florida and to develop new programs in environmental science and conservation. Dr. Miller remains on the UNCW faculty as a Research Professor. Under Dr. Miller's leadership, the center's coral reef research program attained international renown. Related to the Aquarius underwater laboratory, unprecedented accomplishments included innovative technological advancements, development of cutting-edge science programs, and expanded educational and outreach efforts. The program received significant media coverage including television (NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Discovery Science Channel, Travel Channel, Name Your Adventure, and Popular Science for Kids); radio (NPR, National Geographic Radio Expeditions, Florida Public Radio, and Scuba Radio); and print (Scientific American, New Scientist, National Geographic, Weekly Reader, Geo Times, LA Times, USA Today and numerous national and local newspapers). The center's Web site was also redesigned and routinely receives 15,000 visits each month; with special events generating more than 5,000 visits in a day.
During the last six years, the center entered into or strengthened collaborative efforts with the U.S. Navy, NASA, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Program, NOAA’s Coral Conservation Program, EPA, and the Canadian Center for Minimal Access Surgery to name a few. Through these partnerships, the center increased scientific productivity while forging ahead with new technological developments in an era of level funding. NOAA, UNCW and the center thank Dr. Miller for his contributions and dedication to the center – and the oceans.
The university and NOAA Undersea Research Program unequivocally supported Dr. Miller's nomination of Mr. Andrew Shepard as the new center director. Mr. Shepard, the former associate center director, has over 26 years of experience with NOAA, the last 14 at the center. Mr. Thomas Potts and Mr. Otto Rutten will manage the South Atlantic Bight/Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys research programs as associate center directors.